The Nebraska Community Foundation works with community, organizational and donor-advised affiliated funds serving 250 communities located in 80 counties. NCF and its affiliated funds have reinvested $269 million in Nebraska since 1994.
Effective affiliated funds can credit much of their success to the quality of their leaders. But, you can not count on the same strong leaders to continue in their roles forever. Developing a deep and broad leadership base is essential to creating success for your affiliated fund. Your affiliated fund needs to be proactive and intentional in developing a strategy to effectively recruit and transition affiliated fund leadership. The Nebraska Community Foundation (NCF) can help you by providing examples from others who have gone through this process and governance tools that have been used effectively.
Each affiliated fund needs to have a plan for leadership succession and transition. This plan should incorporate a means to change leadership under both planned circumstances (affiliated fund leader reaches the end of his/her term or announces his/her intention to retire) and unplanned circumstances (affiliated leader dies or moves out of town). Having a plan in place to carry on the leadership will help you to create an easier transition when the need arises.
NCF can help your affiliated fund create a customized succession plan. Tools include written job descriptions for FAC members and officers, articles of operation (doc) (pdf), governance policies and operational procedures . One example of a successful practice is naming the vice chair the “chair elect” so that it is clear that this person is the next in line to assume the position of chairing the committee.
The key to finding good leaders starts with identifying and recruiting the right candidates.
NCF can help your affiliated fund with the recruitment process. Tools include a FAC leadership recruitment matrix.doc, sample job descriptions and commitment forms. Many of today’s best leaders say they agreed to volunteer because they respected the person that met with them to ask them to serve. Others were made familiar with the organization by being asked to serve on a sub-committee.
It is helpful for new fund advisory committee members and new officers to receive an orientation to prepare them for their new role. Existing leaders are often good candidates to mentor a new leader. Creating a formal mentoring process for incoming leaders will help ease the transition and create a stronger affiliated fund.
NCF can provide sample documents for the orientation session(s). NCF’s on-site and multi-community training sessions, Web site and webinars are also helpful ways of introducing new leaders to your organizational process. See the NCF calendar to learn about upcoming events and trainings.
You don’t have to lose the valuable experience of past leaders just because new people are transitioning into new roles. Past leaders make excellent mentors for new leaders. They carry institutional history and technical knowledge which may be unknown to new leadership. Former leaders can be asked to serve on a sub-committee where they can continue to direct their specific skills and passion.
NCF has a sample committee structure that can be customized by your FAC. Former leaders can continue to be part of the NCF state-wide network of volunteers.
Youth entrepreneur Shelby Kittle participates every year in Entrepreneurship Investigation camp and at the Ord Farmers Market booth purchased for youth each year by the Valley County Community Foundation Fund. She has developed a successful business creating hand-painted fishing lures, decorative mail boxes and other items.Read more →